KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid News: Govs Split On Block Grants; Kansas Begins ‘Makeover’

Even as states try to move forward with a Medicaid makeovers, transforming this state-federal program into a block grant comes with complications.  

The Wall Street Journal: Medicaid Debate Pulls Cuomo, Christie Apart
The national debate over Medicaid has exposed the first major policy rift between the Democrat of New York and the Republican of New Jersey, both rising stars in their respective parties. They broke in opposite directions when responding to a proposal by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, who wants to change the way the federal government reimburses states for Medicaid (Gershman, 4/11).

Kaiser Health News: Medicaid To Offer Rewards For Healthy Behavior
A federal grant program authorized in the health overhaul law is offering states $100 million to reward Medicaid recipients who make an effort to quit smoking or keep their weight, blood pressure or cholesterol levels in check. The grant program is meant to encourage states, many of which are under pressure to cut Medicaid costs, to experiment with an uncertain approach to wellness: offering incentives for healthy behavior (Miles, 4/11).

Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Medicaid Makeover Moves Forward
Details of various suggestions for improving the Kansas Medicaid program were made public this week. They ranged from the complicated, such as shifting the blind, disabled and elderly into managed-care programs or capping Medicaid payments, to the relatively straightforward - such as ending Medicaid payments for routine circumcisions. ... On a related front, the governor this week traded letters again with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as part of a continuing push for more state flexibility in the spending of federal Medicaid dollars (Shields, 4/8). 

Times-Picayune: Families USA Says Medicaid Block Grant Proposal would Be 'Devastating' For Louisiana
Families USA said House GOP plans to turn Medicaid into a block grant program for the states and reconfigure Medicare for senior citizens would cost Louisiana $38.3 billion over the next 10 years. ... Louisiana's Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein didn't comment directly on the Families USA projections, but said he welcomed the proposal to turn Medicaid into a block grant program administered by the states (4/9). 

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